First Battle of Hebei
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseOn 1 Jan 1933, Japanese forces launched Operation Nekka that aimed to expand Japanese control into China proper. The offensive began with artillery shelling of Shanhaiguan, a gate in the far eastern portion of the Great Wall. The gate was guarded by men of the Chinese Northeastern Army, who were ill-equipped and were unable to withstand the Japanese attack. The gate fell on 3 Jan.
ww2dbaseAfter some time in relative idle, Japanese 2nd Division, 14th Mix Brigade, 4th Cavalry Brigade, and 8th Cavalry Brigade, with support from Manchurian troops under Zhang Haipeng's command, attacked Rehe (sometimes Jehol) on 21 Feb. On 25 Feb, Chaoyang, Baipiao, and Kailu were taken. On 2 Mar, Japanese 4th Cavalry Brigade faced resistance from Sun Dianying's troops, including a Chinese counterattack that penetrated Japanese lines, but ultimately the Chinese troops were unable to counter the firepower the Japanese troops wielded. After advancing 300 kilometers within 7 days, Rehe fell on 1 Mar, and within days the Japanese 1st Special Tank Company reinforced the garrison now dug in at Rehe. On 4 Mar, provincial capital Chengde, undefended, fell to the Japanese.
ww2dbaseZhang Xueliang, commander of the Northeastern Army up until this point, was relieved and replaced by He Yingqin. He decided to maintain his defense at the remaining portions of the Great Wall that were still under Chinese control. In the morning of 6 Mar, Japanese troops stumbled upon a Chinese ambush set up by the Chinese 620th Regiment and 621st Regiment, which only slowed the Japanese advance but did not stop it. The Chinese troops fell back to Gubeikou, a pass of the Great Wall, but incurred 500 casualties as the Japanese troops, who only suffered 43 casualties, gave chase. By 12 May, Japanese troops had controlled all key passes of the Great Wall.
ww2dbaseThis engagement is also referred to as the Battle of the Great Wall.
ww2dbaseChinese and Japanese representatives met in the Tanggu district of Tianjin starting on 22 May 1933 in an attempt to end the undeclared war between China and Japan. Japan demanded that a demilitarized zone be established 100 kilometers south of the Great Wall, and Japan was to be given possession of the Great Wall itself. Also, Japan demanded that Japanese units were to be allowed to patrol the demilitarized zone. The Chinese government agreed to all Japanese demands and signed the document on 31 May 1933.
Last Major Update: Jan 2007
First Battle of Hebei Timeline
|1 Jan 1933||Japanese troops attacked Hebei Province, China.|
|21 Feb 1933||Japanese troops, supported by troops of the Manchukuo puppet state, attacked Rehe (Jehol) Province, China.|
|25 Feb 1933||Japanese troops captured Chaoyang, Baipiao, and Kailu in Rehe, China.|
|2 Mar 1933||Chinese troops counterattacked against troops of the Japanese 4th Cavalry Brigade during the Battle of the Great Wall, achieving initial success, but the attack was ultimately beaten by superior firepower.|
|4 Mar 1933||Troops of the 139th Division of Chinese 32nd Corps repulsed a Japanese attack on the Lengkou Pass of the Great Wall in China. Elsewhere, the provincial capital of Rehe Province, Chengde, was captured by Japanese troops without opposition.|
|6 Mar 1933||Troops of the Chinese 620th and 621st Regiments ambushed Japanese troops near Beiping, China, slowing the advance but failing to stop it.|
|7 Mar 1933||Troops of 16th Brigade of Japanese 8th Division attacked Gubeikou Pass of the Great Wall north of Beiping, China, but the attack was repulsed by the Chinese 67th Corps.|
|10 Mar 1933||During the First Battle of Hebei, General Guan Linzheng of Chinese 25th Division was wounded in battle near Gubeikou Pass of the Great Wall, and Du Yuming stepped up to serve as the acting divisional commander.|
|12 Mar 1933||Du Yuming received orders to withdraw Chinese 25th Division from the area near Gubeikou Pass of the Great Wall in Hebei Province, China.|
|21 Mar 1933||Japanese troops captured Yiyuankou Pass of the Great Wall near Beiping, China.|
|8 Apr 1933||The Chinese 29th Corps was evacuated from Xifengkou Pass of the Great Wall near Beiping, China.|
|11 Apr 1933||Japanese troops captured Lengkou Pass of the Great Wall in Hebei Province, China.|
|12 May 1933||Japanese troops took control of all major gates and passes of the Great Wall in Hebei Province.|
|20 May 1933||Chinese troops began to withdraw from all Great Wall gates near Beiping, China.|
|22 May 1933||The First Battle of Hebei ended as Chinese and Japanese representatives began to negotiate for a truce.|
|31 May 1933||The Tanggu Truce was signed between China and Japan to end the undeclared war between China and Japan, with terms extremely favorable to Japan.|
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